Established as a nonprofit organization in 1982, the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) advances the field of child life by establishing and maintaining professional standards, enhancing the professional growth and development of members, and advancing the credibility of the child life profession by fostering research and promoting the standards of child life practice on a national and international level.  

The Association represents trained professionals with expertise in helping infants, children, youth, and families cope with the stress and uncertainty of illness, injury and treatment. ACLP is comprised of more than 5,000 individuals representing at least 600 organizations worldwide. Our members include Certified Child Life Specialists, child life assistants, university educators and students, hospital administrators and staff, school teachers, therapeutic recreation specialists, and professionals in related fields. 

Click on the following document to learn more about ACLP and the field of child life,  About the Association of Child Life Professionals.

ACLP Mission

To foster excellence in child life professionals through engagement in education, scientific inquiry, and innovation.

ACLP Vision

Children and families of every race, identity, and community understand, navigate, and cope with serious life events.

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ACLP Core Values

Integrity – We promote consistent self-awareness, accountability, responsibility, and ethical decision-making. We strive for full transparency in our actions and communications.

Equity - We strive for equitable treatment, opportunities, and access to our information and resources for all. We believe achieving equity is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.

- We build a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of people of every race, identity, and community. We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to create balance in the face of power differences.

Collaboration – We bring together those with diverse perspectives, experience, and expertise to strengthen and enrich our organization.

Excellence - We integrate scientific evidence, best practices, rigorous standards, and innovation throughout our organization’s work.

ACLP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Definitions & Anti-Racism Statement

Diversity: Diversity is the representation of all our varied individual and collective identities and differences.  We proactively seek out and engage with a variety of perspectives because we believe we can only advance justice when we affirm our similarities and understand and find value in our differences.

Equity: Equity is fair treatment, equitable opportunities, and access to our information and resources for all. We recognize that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to address these imbalances. We believe achieving equity is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.

Inclusion: Inclusion is an environment and culture of belonging that actively invites the contribution and participation of people of every race, identity, and community. We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to create balance in the face of power differences. We believe that no one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.

Anti-Racism Statement: We commit to antiracism through the promotion of inclusion, belonging, and the emotional safety of patients, families, workforces, and the communities we serve.

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ACLP Professional Code of Conduct

ACLP is committed to providing a professional, safe, and welcoming environment for all. To maintain a standard of conduct that upholds the integrity of the association as well as to ensure individuals are demonstrating professional conduct, ACLP has created a new Professional Code of Conduct. 

The ACLP Professional Code of Conduct is intended to provide ACLP participants with a set of best practices and guidelines on standards of conduct to which ACLP participants agree they will adhere when joining and maintaining their ACLP membership and/or participating in ACLP activities and events.

ACLP expects all participants to uphold their commitment to delivering and supporting a positive environment for all ACLP members and others affiliated with ACLP.

This Code applies to any conduct and communication of ACLP participants involving ACLP members, ACLP staff, ACLP contractors, or non-member participants of ACLP connection with or resulting from any ACLP-related business, activity, or at ACLP functions, as defined in the code.

Read the Code

ACLP Professional Code of Conduct: Discipline Policy

The Code addresses misconduct in three general areas: Personal Misconduct, Professional Misconduct, and Legal Misconduct.

Any ACLP participant may bring a complaint against any other ACLP participant if they believe, in good faith, that the participant engaged in conduct in violation of the Code. Individuals may also bring a complaint against an ACLP participant based on publicly available information such as court documents, newspaper articles, or social media posts that were verified by independent sources.

Complaints must be submitted in writing using the ACLP Professional Code of Conduct Complaint Form. Participants engaging in misconduct are subject to disciplinary action as outlined in ACLP’s Professional Code of Conduct Discipline Policy.


Download the Complaint Form

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What We Do

As North America's leading non-profit organization for advancing the child life profession, the Association of Child Life Professionals provides our members with the latest information, resources, and meaningful networking opportunities. The association advocates for the furtherance of the profession and connects members to the important work of child life specialists around the world.


The Association of Child Life Professionals represents individuals and institutions who are dedicated to the child life profession and who have an interest in promoting its growth throughout the globe. Membership is comprised of, though not limited to: Certified Child Life Specialists, students, hospitals, and other related healthcare professionals. Members of the Association of Child Life Professionals have continuous access to a wide array of benefits.

Continuing Education

An ever-expanding online education portal puts relevant webinars, courses, and PDUs at your fingertips, enabling you to develop competencies and keep abreast of new trends in the field while qualifying for Professional Development Units (PDUs). Member receive a significant discount to registration fees.


The CCLS credentialing program is a rigorous, examination-based professional certification designed to promote the proficiency of child life professionals by identifying a body of knowledge, establishing a level of comprehension, and verifying mastery of critical child life concepts.


The Annual Conference is the premier event connecting child life specialists with colleagues from across the nation and around the world.

Research & Resources

The Journal of Child Life is the most prestigious publication in the field and showcases leading research, practice-based articles, and more; it is open-access and available to the public.

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Support ACLP

ACLP empowers its members and child life professionals to enhance the quality of health care and human services through the development of resources, information-dissemination and other initiatives. These activities are supported through membership dues and private funding. Support the important work of the Association of Child Life Professionals and the children and families served by its dedicated members with a tax-deductible donation.

Learn More

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